Juventus scraped through a tricky tie last time out, will this kickstart their UCL campaign?
It has been a successful few weeks for Allegri and Juventus. Regaining top spot from Napoli in Serie A, putting them back in pole position for yet another title. Also navigating their way through a tricky tie against Spurs after faltering in the first leg.
Juventus have reached the Champions League final in 2 of the last 2 years, losing to Barcelona in 2015 and Real Madrid in 2017. To a degree, a respectable accomplishment in itself, but not quite the achievement Juventus or the fans are proud of. It would be fair to say Juventus would have given up one of their many title wins to win just one of those finals.
This season, they fought their way through a tricky group. Managing to finish second behind Barcelona and above Olympiakos and Sporting Club De Portugal. The first knockout phase they faced a rampant Tottenham, who dispatched of Real Madrid 4-1 in their group stage games.
The test was something Allegri and the rest of the Juventus faithful would see as one they had the capability of passing. Roaring into a 2-0 lead at home in the early stages of the the first leg. They uncharacteristically lost focus and concentration, allowing Tottenham to claw back a 2-2 draw via Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen.
They travelled to London & Wembley knowing a goal was a necessity, and they would need to battle with every fibre of their body to get through to the quarter finals.
And that they did.
Despite going a goal down in the first half, Juventus used all their experience and ability to turn the result around and take a 2-1 win, 4-3 on aggregate. Despite an aging squad and one that some may consider weaker than in previous seasons. What they do not lack is leadership. The likes of Chiellini & Buffon were magnificent in ensuring they held their own and progressed into the next round.
Juventus will now be hoping they can continue this rich vein of form and reach yet another final. The recent return from injury and immediate return to form of Argentine Paulo Dybala is a huge positive for The Old Lady. A player who can make a real difference on the pitch and has the confidence to try and win a game at every opportunity.
There will be sterner tests ahead for Juventus. But with less pressure on the league table, and the sheer determination of Buffon to end his career with a Champions League trophy, they have as good a chance as any other.